CONVERSATION WITH…A Pea Pod… Coping with her Pea-Pod-in-Law

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I passed a vegetable garden. An open pea pod, missing one of her peas, looked devastated. I started a conversation…

mom pea pod

Hey Pea Pod, let me guess. Your missing pea is getting you down.

PEA POD: Is it that obvious?

I’d know that expression anywhere. It’s the same look I have on my face when I think about missing my daughter who moved far away.

PEA POD: My oldest daughter moved away, too! She busted me open and rolled off on her own. Miles from this garden, which is a marathon for a pea.

Where’s your daughter now?

PEA POD: She’s part of an hors d’oeuvre.

Wow. That’s different. How did that happen?

PEA POD: It pains me to talk about it, but she met a pea from another garden. He grew up in a snap pea, so she went off with him and joined his family. Now, since she’s an hors d’oeuvre, she’s sitting inside a snap pea pod! But I’m the pod who brought her up! I’m her mother! How can she be inside another pod?

I know how it feels.

PEA POD: Here’s my daughter in her new pod, on Instagram. She’s on the right. Her boyfriend’s on the left (he’s shorter than she is). And, of course, the evil mom snap pea pod is holding them.

snap pea pod

Well, let me say this. Your daughter isn’t sitting in that snap pea pod the same way she once sat inside you. Since she’s part of an hors d’oeuvre, there’s hummus and paprika between her and the snap pea pod. They’re obviously not as close.

PEA POD: I know. But they’re still together.

Anyway, you’re not alone. My daughter met a guy and has become involved with his family, too. Especially his mother.

PEA POD: It’s so unfair! I feel so betrayed!  My daughter is MY DAUGHTER! What the hell is she doing hanging out with someone else’s mother???? She’s MY daughter!  Mine mine mine! Not some other snap pea pod’s! I don’t want a pod-in-law! I want my daughter!

Your pain is my pain.

PEA POD: It’s killing me! My lovely pea daughter grew inside ME!  I’M the one who protected her from storms and wind and the cold so she could thrive. I’M the one who watched her grow up and kept her safe.  And what do I get for it? As soon as she grows big enough, she rolls off and gets chummy with another pod.

When my children were growing up, we were like peas in a pod, too. We were really close. It’s hard to accept some of the new connections they make when they leave.

PEA POD: You said it.

Hey listen. In your daughter’s case, it could have been a lot worse. I mean she could have gone off and done something self-destructive, like become part of a bowl of pea soup.

PEA POD: I suppose.

Or she could have gotten emotionally lost in a salad. And had panic attacks.

PEA POD: True that. Same with your daughter. Even though she moved far away, she chose to be part of another family. So, maybe being part of a family is important to our daughters, no matter how far away they are. Maybe we helped them see that family is comforting.

And anyway…maybe the universe is driving us in this direction.  Because one day, maybe our daughters will become mothers and find themselves in the same situation. It’s important that we set examples for them. If someday they have sons or daughters, how will they cope if their children become members of other families? I think we need to show them we can accept it and move on with our lives.

PEA POD: You’re so right.

So…do you feel better now?


I don’t either.

PEA POD: Sigh.

I’ll tell you what. Why don’t we exchange numbers. If I hear any comforting words on this subject, I’ll text you. And vice versa.

PEA POD: Sounds like a plan.


With that, the pea pod and I went our separate ways. But since we’re still feeling unsettled, we throw it out to you, dear virtual friends and fellow pea pods. If you are reading this, do you have comforting words to share? If you’ve let go of your children and continue to watch them become attached to other families, how do you find peace with it? Or…if you’re someone’s son or daughter and are part of two families, how do you balance it?


61 thoughts on “CONVERSATION WITH…A Pea Pod… Coping with her Pea-Pod-in-Law

  1. I raised four little peas in my pod. Now they all live far away. Babiest pea graduated last year and that felt like the end of something. Like my sell-by had been reached. Eldest pea is married. Middle peas are making their own way too. All of them are settled far from me. I ache for them but then I remind myself that I gave them what I set out to …. roots and wings. Their wings are strong and sometimes I wish they were more feeble but then I get a message or a call out of the blue and I understand that they will always be rooted in me …. and that root is in our hearts that no matter how far apart beat in time like a beautiful rhyme we made together all those years. Go gently peapod and go gently lady Yellowbrick xx

    Liked by 4 people

  2. We were able to spend Christmas with our son and grandchildren for the first time in 10 years. His ex-wife always insisted on spending it with her family. His fiancé had a similar experience with her ex. This past Christmas, our family, and her family spent Christmas together. It was the best one since our kids were small!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My peas are still in my pod Cathi and this post makes me cherish this stage so much more. It is ok if I feel like a zombie by the end of the day.I am glad they are still with me.
    Now, to the question that you asked, Is there any point resisting something that you don’t have any control on? Isn’t that how it is meant to be? Isn’t that how we came away from our pea pod and made a pod for ourselves? I know it is difficult . But that’s the truth, isn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

      • . My older two are out of state, so it’s hard when they visit and leave. When we were young, we also never really looked behind to see the effect our actions would have on our families. But, take heart….our grown up peas never forget what pod they came from, even if they become part of another in some way.


      • You’re right, when we were kids, we never looked behind. We just did what we did. But at this age, I see there’s something wonderful about family, and it makes me sad to see us all stretching apart. So many things become memories instead of new moments together every day. Sorry I sound so sappy. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The memories of my own mom’s objections to my moves are even more poignant today, on the first anniversary of her passing. Stay close to your parents, and your children. If you have young ones, savor the time, even though it is exhausting: you still have some control!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lol – serious subject, such a cute analogy 🙂 My pod parents moved us to the other side of the world when we were but baby peas, leaving behind all their pod families and pod friends. Here, we forged new connections. Even as us baby peas moved to other pods and pod-in-laws at all corners of this vast land, we still kept those close connections. We somehow made it into one big bag of mixed pod families. When we got together, it was really good. As for me and my very own pea pod family – we went home to my pod of origin and pod-in-laws as often as we could. And do you know what? It was good. We were able to spend pod time together in whole different and new ways. Now my pod parents have moved to pod heaven and my pea pod babies have left to make their own pods. But we still have that pod love that binds our hearts together forever 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think it’s a grief process and you learn to live wth it.
    I’m thankful I was able to parent my daughter to be happy to go off into the world on her own as I found leaving home very difficult and didn’t do well at all. The toughest time for me was when my daughter , in her teenage years, turned to another mother for someone to talk to. It really hurt but then I thought how enriching this was for her and how very much I needed that as a teen but didn’t have that opportunity. It helped me accept it even though it continued to hurt.


    • Thank you for that great comment. It actually reminded me of the days when my children were in preschool. I had to work in the mornings, so I had a babysitter come to my house to watch the kids. I remember not minding that, and thinking it was kind of awesome a second person was taking care of them who had certain strengths I didn’t. The same might be true at this phase of life.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Not being a Mom, I had a totally different perspective. My first instinct was to save them from the snack plate. I mean, it’s one thing to be in an alien pod, but quite another to be eaten while in it! Save the peas! No whirled peas in this case! Seriously, I can’t even imagine watching your daughter make her own way and sharing that way with another family. However, I can only think that it is your support in raising her that allows her to forge her own path. She will always meet new people and add some of them to her private sphere, however, if she is anything like me, her connection to you can only be strengthened. The more I learned of the world, the more I appreciated my parents and the upbringing I was lucky enough to have.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha re: saving the peas! I think all foods accept they’re going to be eaten one way or another and just go with it. It’s kind of their fate. But moving on to your thoughts about the strong bond between kids and their parents, I agree, and there’s so much truth in what you say. I guess what’s most shocking about this parenting thing is not knowing how it will feel when your children leave the nest and find new connections. It’s the way it’s supposed to be. It hurts anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Having been the daughter of a wonderful Mom, I found that the more connections I made as I struck out into the world made me appreciate her even more. I hope you can find some peace with this. You are obviously a terrific Mom. ❤️


  8. I understand your pain, as both my kids are married and get along wonderfully with their in-laws. And I know I’m lucky that they all live in the same town so I still get to see my kids often.
    That being said, I do have a slightly different perspective. When I married my husband, his parents most definitely didn’t accept me into the family with open arms. It wasn’t personal, I just wasn’t what they had in mind for their son’s wife. Also, they were very competitive with my family, and kept careful track of how much time we spent with my family verses his family. It was very, very hard on both me and my husband. Over the years, the acceptance did come, but honestly I never truly got over that initial rejection.

    So big part of me was quite happy when I saw that my kids’ new families accepted them so quickly and that my kids obviously feel that they are truly part of those families. They didn’t have to face the pain of rejection, and their lives are enriched by their new family members, and I’m grateful for that. Of course there are times when I feel a little jealousy now and then, but when that happens, I remind myself that all I have to do if I want to see more of my kids is reach out to them, and that the other families aren’t taking anything away from me. It also helps that I like their in-laws, too!
    Sorry for the long answer…you know me when I get to typing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ann, I loved your long response. When I get to typing, I do the same thing. Most importantly, I’d totally forgotten about how it feels to not be accepted by in-laws and how that sting never goes away. When I married my husband, my mother-in-law expected me to have children immediately and stop working. I wanted to have a family at some point, but it was the last thing on my mind. For years, there was friction between us, until I finally had children. Then, we connected over the kids. But that tension between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law can be an ongoing, underlying stress that shouldn’t have to be there. Thank you for reminding me to look at those relationships that way. I’d forgotten how I once felt. Anyway, as parents, we are each individuals and add a different spin to every family. Hey look! I just typed forever, too! 🙂


  9. I raised a son and an only child. He married a woman with a large family and 2 siblings. We have to share and I’ve come to accept my lot as the mother of the son who has a new family now. I work on my flexibility and come up with creative ways to have time with them. It’s not that we are ignored but there is only so much time and energy to go around. I also have to never compare or ‘keep score’ or it is a pathway to needless pain.


  10. Both my daughters are really close to their mother & father in laws which I think is fantastic, even so I am usually the first person they contact if they have a problem 🤷🏼‍♀️ There comes a time that we have to let them fly free and then them live their lives whilst we sit on the sidelines. This can be when cracks appear in marriages happen and also the time when we find ourselves when we stop obsessing on things that we have no control over. Take a leap of faith Cathi 🌹


  11. First, what a really unique and creative blog! I can see as an almost “empty nester” that your blog will be a place I really enjoy coming to! I have enjoyed reading this post and the comments. I have never really thought about the whole in-law thing, I can imagine that could be hard. I’m just praying for daughter-in -laws that will be like daughters…but having two sons I have always had that saying in the back of my mind “a son is a son till he gets a wife, a daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life.” For my sake, I sure hope that doesn’t hold true!


    • Hi! So nice to virtually meet you. I have a son and a daughter. The ties I have with them are different, but both are strong. With my son, we have an ongoing creative connection–we’re on the same creative wavelength. With my daughter, believe it or not, we’re connected by anxiety and all that blossoms from it. I believe and find that scary but also very wonderful things grow from feeling anxious. So in that way, my children and I will always be connected. I’m imagining and hoping you will find the same is true with your sons.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you, so nice to virtually meet you as well! I love connecting with people in the blogging community that I can learn from who are in the same time of life as myself, and just enjoy their take on it as well. I am blessed to have a strong relationship with both my sons…that’s what makes the almost empty nest thing tough, so it will be nice to learn from others who have already gone through that transition. Have a wonderful weekend!


    • I think the empty nest thing might be harder for some than others. It seems to depend on what you expected to happen when your kids grew up. What kind of picture had you painted in your mind at that stage of life, and will you have to change it? In any case, it’s all good and always some way we can grow from the experience. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I think that the little pea has found love and is exploring ne territory. Pleasing her new pea mate by spending time with his family all the time knowing that a loving home pod is always available to her.


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